Comfirm or Deny: Big Changes Coming to GO Bus Service

Over the past weekend, a post appeared briefly on Facebook describing proposed changes to GO Transit bus service that were presented to ATU Local 1587 members on Wednesday, July 17. Normally I would take info like this with a grain of salt based on decades of hearing various half-baked stories about TTC plans that pop up from railfan speculation and internal TTC rumours. However, this was too detailed a list and from a first-hand source, and it cannot be ignored.

Updated July 23, 2019 at 8:55 am: The following email was sent to me by ATU 1587 who represent the GO Transit Workers:

A.T.U. Local 1587 was not aware of a posting on social media of service cuts produced by Metrolinx. It was brought to our attention from you, Steve. Thank you.

Metrolinx has however, brought to the union, approx. a month ago, of service cuts in bus that affected Beaverton, Oshawa, Waterloo, Bolton, Cambridge.

Metrolinx is trying to reduce bus service, and force passengers onto trains, which means less local access for our passengers. If there is local transit, then they will have to take that system and  transfer once they are close to a GO station, if not then they will have to use their personal vehicle.

Our members provide an excellent service overall. We don’t however, create the schedules of where we go or don’t go. Our members have voiced their disbelief about the cuts to trips not only for our seniors that use our service for appointments, but our university students as well. Everyone who uses GO Transit/Metrolinx is using us for a reason. Our members are proud of what they do, helping those with disabilities, seniors, children, etc. The pride does not stop at our drivers. Everyone from plant maintenance to station attendants, to our coach tech’s (mechanics), transit safety officers, OFPT. We are all proud of the job we do for the public, our passengers.

Thank you,

Christine Broeze
President/Business Agent
A.T.U. Local 1587

Updated 4:44 pm July 22: Metrolinx claims that the information posted on Facebook is not true.

The rumours are not accurate.

Buses form a vital connection between trains and communities not connected to train service or with limited train service.

Buses will always be an important part of our regional transportation plan. In fact, we are actively recruiting bus drivers to join our team.

We currently have a fleet of 532 buses and approximately 420 are used for service. We have more buses on the road today than we ever have and every year since our existence they have increased.

We are always monitoring our services to ensure we are making the best use of our resources.

We are embarking on the largest expansion of rail service in our history.

At times, when new train service is introduced it makes sense to redeploy bus services to other communities. Trains can carry far more passengers and shorten the trip.

It is difficult for us to comment on the presentation made to union members as we were not there. [Email from Fannie Sunshine 4:35 pm, July 22]

Original post below:

According to the post, train service is now Metrolinx’ priority and all train-bus service will be eliminated during daylight hours. Buses will only operate overnight and some Sunday services when there are no trains. This is an intriguing starting point given that the full rollout of GO RER frequent service across the network is still years away.

Metrolinx took some well-deserved flak for recent cuts to Cambridge and Bolton services that entailed no public consultation and, based on comments at a Town Hall, no co-ordination with local transit agencies who might take over the service.

Pending cutbacks (with links to current schedules) include:

In one improvement, routes 25 (Waterloo) and 29 (Guelph) which now terminate at Square One will be extended to Kipling subway station bridging an annoying gap between the TTC and GO.

With the reduction in scope of operations, Brampton GO bus garage will close, and buses will no longer be stored at Barrie Transit, Canada Coach or the Ministry of Transportation. GO buses will continue to use host garages in Brantford (which offers free parking and bus washing) and in Niagara Falls where there is a contract in place.

GO Transit drivers will have to decide before October 19 to decide if they wish to stay as employees or not. The extent of the staff reduction was not included in the available information.

If this is an indication of where Metrolinx is headed, it is clear that they want to get out of the bus business leaving only their rail network which will be entirely contracted out under RER. Indeed, this begs the question of why Metrolinx needs to exist at all beyond a small planning and contract management function.

As a mark of Provincial commitment to transit, these cuts, if confirmed, show a government that really does not care about transit, certainly not about the role of a regional network beyond its own trains. Those who advocate a Provincial takeover of local transit should view these cuts as a cautionary tale.

I asked Metrolinx for comment on this story on Saturday, July 22. Their only response to date has been:

When is your deadline? Won’t be able to get you anything over the weekend. [Email from Fannie Sunshine, July 20 at 12:54 pm]

I advised that I would be publishing Monday afternoon, and have not heard back further.

I also await comment from ATU 1587, the GO Transit local.

48 thoughts on “Comfirm or Deny: Big Changes Coming to GO Bus Service

  1. Wow! I’d been chided and sanctioned for being so jaundiced to predict exactly this fate for Metrolinx in a noted Toronto Forum. Every one of my most cynical missives has proven to be true. I’m astounded by how many still hang upon the word of the GOrical.

    Steve writes: In one improvement, routes 25 (Waterloo) and 29 (Guelph) which now terminate at Square One will be extended to Kipling subway station bridging an annoying gap between the TTC and GO.

    For this distance cyclist, living on Line 2 at Dundas West, this improves my connections to escape country geometrically. In all the gloom, at least there’s some overdue and good news.

    Steve continues: If this is an indication of where Metrolinx is headed, it is clear that they want to get out of the bus business leaving only their rail network which will be entirely contracted out under RER. Indeed, this begs the question of why Metrolinx needs to exist at all beyond a small planning and contract management function.

    Again, I’d been projecting this for some time, many indications were already there. It’s a logical step for the present DBFOM to [be a] discreet and complete P3 almost eliminating the need for Metrolinx. The Ministry can just hire in consultants to oversee projects in many cases financed by the Canada Infrastructure Bank.

    There is an upside to this, as it would *greatly* assist private projects lending themselves to hosting both VIA’s HFR as well as GO electrified routes, and actually get built. What a concept.

    The big fear remaining is not the funding approach, that’s worked very well (with caveats) in other jurisdictions. The fear is *no matter what* this present QP regime is involved in, it will turn to shid.

    You beat the major press to the gravity of this development, Steve. A lot more will be discussed on this, I’m sure….I’m still digesting this.

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  2. WTF?

    This will be expensive to rebuild after the wreckage.

    Ford needs to go back to running the banana stand.

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  3. My hope is that the post is an exaggeration. GO Transit has been more and more focused on highway-based interregional bus routes as opposed to more local routes such as the Beaverton and Highway 2 services. But for years, too, GO has wanted to trash the QEW Express as well, even though it’s a much faster and a more comfortable trip than the train. Without all-day rail service to Hamilton GO, this will prove to be very unpopular.

    Eliminating most bus service on the Kitchener corridor can only come with evening, weekend, and reverse rush hour train service. I can’t see all of that coming when the fourth track through West Toronto and Weston isn’t in place (can’t let GO get in the way of UPX!) and work just getting underway on the Highway 401 underpass.

    I’d be very interested in watching this as well.

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  4. Doug Ford following in the goosesteps of Mike Harris, when it comes to public transit. (And other areas as well.)

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  5. Please tell me Fanny Sunshine is a pseudonym…

    Steve: No, Ms. Sunshine really exists with an unfortunate moniker for a PR flak.

    Her name is correctly cited as “Fannie”, and I have corrected this in the main article.

    Also.. I wonder if they will do away with the 90 and 92 which essentially mimic the Lakeshore East line from Roughly STC to Oshawa. Even if they curtail it, running it from York Mills to STC is pointless.

    Steve: These services were not mentioned in the list.

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  6. Steve said: These services were not mentioned in the list.

    Maybe so, but the service mimics the Lakeshore East line and has a duplicate service in the 900 and Pulse DRT services.

    They could remove the service in the entirety of Durham Region and literally nobody would affected.

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  7. “all train-bus service will be eliminated during daylight hours”

    The point of those service is support train use. People take the train because they know they can travel when the train isn’t operating. The level of use also shows the potential demand for off-peak train service – have a look at the 100+ Milton-line trips each day.

    I would love for Metrolinx to say how many people currently use those bus services.

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  8. The loss of the Hamilton QEW Express will be a pain for many. It’s really fast off-peak. It’s been a few years, but I’ve been on a few trips that made it from Union to Hamilton GO Centre in only 50 minutes. It also picks up and drops people off in Hamilton at points between the station and the highway. I know there is a bus connection to the train at Aldershot, but if they want “out of the bus business” I imagine that will be axed too as soon as they have “all-day” service to Hamilton (ie. like one train every two hours, if even that).

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  9. As a Hamilton senior with sons in Toronto I regularly use the bus service to see my sons and grandson. It is much more accessible then train as unless it is very early morning or evening rush hour no trains come into Hamilton. The buses are generally 80 to 100% full and are greatly used by MacMaster students as well as Hamilton residents who either don’t drive or can’t drive.

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  10. This does look like Greyhound’s complaints about the private sector being replaced on the 401 finally got some traction.

    Steve: Metrolinx now denies the reported changes, and now we have to wait and see whether they make good on claims of pending improvements.

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  11. If what I just read about Go buses being phased out I think it would be a disaster for the travelling traveling public and for the driver’s themselves. If Go transit had any sense they would be extending bus service to beyond the borders that they already serve. Perhaps extending GO bus service to Kingston to the east and London Ontario to the west. We all know how expensive VIA is and would make sense to extend GO service to these areas.

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  12. It’s no exaggeration. I’ve been hearing this for weeks from insiders. And there’s trouble brewing within Bombardier’s GO Rail contract operation, too. In other words, the whole thing is gonna blow up real good.

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  13. Massive reductions in the GO bus links between Port Perry & Whitby GO Train have hit residents here hard. Commuters are furious. My own teenage kids are upset as this was their transport link to Toronto and how they enjoyed having independent visits with their cousins. Bad decision all round!

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  14. Regarding GO buses to Milton – should not be reduced unless the GO trains are running during the week all day and weekends like the Lakeshore west. There should be a GO bus from Square One or Cooksville to Toronto premium outlet mall. There are no buses going there at all.

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  15. The rumours I’m hearing are that most of these services will be replaced with trains, which has been Metrolinx’s plan for years.

    Steve: That’s fine in theory if (a) there actually is track where the buses run now, (b) the train service is as frequent as the buses it replaces, and (c) the stops for the train service are as accessible as those for the bus service. The devil is in the details.

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  16. Metrolinx marketing: Lets make 2019 “the year of the bus!” Lets have a bus at the auto show, and make a bunch of cool commercials to boost ridership!

    Metrolinx executive: “LOL na lets slash popular bus service and run near-empty trains instead. CHOO CHOO!”.

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  17. Steve’s latest update is valuable to consider the ‘weight’ of his original thrust. Also, to those reading these posts as updated in their inbox, access the website itself to read the rest of the update:

    In part:

    Updated July 23, 2019 at 8:55 am: The following email was sent to me by ATU 1587 who represent the GO Transit Workers:

    A.T.U. Local 1587 was not aware of a posting on social media of service cuts produced by Metrolinx. It was brought to our attention from you, Steve. Thank you.

    […]
    Christine Broeze
    President/Business Agent
    A.T.U. Local 1587

    Steve is out on a bit of a limb at this point, but every sixth sense of mine and noted others is that this story has substance. The exact details may manifest in ways unforeseen, but where there’s smoke….

    Steve himself has stated:

    “Normally I would take info like this with a grain of salt based on decades of hearing various half-baked stories…”

    One only has to read back the last year or so on Metrolinx claims and the subsequent reality to realize they’re operating with the ‘Diminishing Law of Reality’ (apologies to ‘Utility’).

    And now Carolyn Mulroney has been appointed Minister for this department as a sacrificial lamb to bleed for the Con Cause.

    Another Steve writes:

    The rumours I’m hearing are that most of these services will be replaced with trains, which has been Metrolinx’s plan for years.

    Steve Munro replies:

    That’s fine in theory if (a) there actually is track where the buses run now, (b) the train service is as frequent as the buses it replaces, and (c) the stops for the train service are as accessible as those for the bus service. The devil is in the details.

    And that answer has far more substance than anything coming out of QP and Metrolinx of late. Consider that according to actual quotes of Verster himself (I will supply if challenged, don’t have reference handy at this time) (gist)

    “I’m the one who suggested reducing the operating budget”.

    Pardon the language….but WTF? Events are becoming so bizarre that the signed words of Ms Broeze are the most believable and informed that we’re getting at this time. And I thank her for adding credence to Steve’s.

    This story has legs…even if the legs are broken.

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  18. If they do cut bus service to the Barrie line they will leave many towns with no transit alternatives (and there are no nearby go train stations). iirc that particular line will only have “all day two way train service” up to Aurora meaning that traveling counter peak or at certain times north of Aurora via transit (without go buses) would not be possible. I’m sure similar situations exist on other lines. I note that it would be long drive from Aurora to Barrie and I suspect that there is a not insignificant number of people further north that are using GO to commute to Newmarket (not Toronto) for employment/other purposes. Not only that but even if folks further north were able to park and ride, many of the go train stations have issues with insufficient parking already and in some causes it would be difficult (or extremely expensive) to expand it. Oddly on that line parking is being substantially expanded at Rutherford go station which has ample transit service (most of the time) and a subway station not too far away. Ironically one of the riding’s that would be impacted by that would be Mulroney’s riding although cynically I suspect that it is the half that doesn’t heavily vote OPC.

    Steve: The problem with parking is that it only serves who are making commutes into the city and can drive to the station/lot. Anyone who wants to make a counter-peak trip has no way to continue outward.

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  19. In answer to ‘ponerology’ and Steve’s reply:

    The problem with parking is that it only serves who are making commutes into the city and can drive to the station/lot. Anyone who wants to make a counter-peak trip has no way to continue outward.

    Again, what Verster has not only stated, but put to official release completely contradicts itself.

    The Ontario Chamber of Commerce wrote to Verster supporting the use of ride sharing services for access to/from GO stations.

    Verster has made the point in this letter at least twice verbally at Town Hall Meetings.

    Will the real Phil Verster please stand up?

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  20. I’m sure Steve remembers the controversy of about a decade ago when The Globe and Mail’s Jeff Gray obtained a Metrolinx memo urging employees to “salt” public meetings and social media with pro-Metrolinx messaging and talk down opponents of their grand plans. Why does at least one of the lengthy rambles above strike me as being in that mold?

    I caught a VIA employee doing that on Facebook recently and he was a tad put out when I questioned him. Hmm.

    Just let me know when I need to come join you out on the figurative limb where someone has placed you. We’ve been there together before and I always found it quite comfy.

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  21. When I originally read this headline on a news website, I thought it was just hype. But GO’s official response of “not ‘accurate'” speaks volumes. Saying how much buses you have on the road NOW, doesn’t necessarily reflect if that going to be continued practice. And now after reading this post, and its updates, it’s clear to me at least that the original alarm sounded was very ‘accurate’ indeed.

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  22. It’s been a while since I rode the 401 west buses, but they did add a lot of service there in the last few years that seemed a little duplicative. It got so bad that they would send the buses roaming around the local streets of Mississauga for half-an-hour, hoping to pick up additional riders. When money is tight, consolidating the bus lines so that there’s a high frequency 401 west spine going to Waterloo with local off-shoots would make more sense as opposed to having all those barely-used, low-frequency point-to-point links. I guess the extension of the 25 to Kipling is an okay improvement, but I wonder if Yorkdale would be a better alternative (they would have to add bus lanes to the 401 first though).

    Also, GO Transit shouldn’t be doing the job of local transit. For small rural areas, I can understand why it might be necessary, but Toronto shouldn’t be subsidizing transit and sprawl in large suburbs. Milton and Mississauga should pay for their own local transit service and not rely on the province to pay for it via GO Transit.

    Steve: If service is truly a duplication, a product of political decisions to add routes for coverage in areas where local transit systems chose not to run, then some rationalization might be in order. But this should be part of a co-ordinated route restructuring process with those local systems. We saw in the recent Bolton change that Metrolinx did not consult local planners, but simply unilaterally cut service. As for sprawl, Ontario has been subsidizing it for decades through investments in roads whose effect dwarfs the effect of GO bus services.

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  23. I had written:

    Steve Munro replies:

    That’s fine in theory if (a) there actually is track where the buses run now, (b) the train service is as frequent as the buses it replaces, and (c) the stops for the train service are as accessible as those for the bus service. The devil is in the details.

    And that answer has far more substance than anything coming out of QP and Metrolinx of late. Consider that according to actual quotes of Verster himself (I will supply if challenged, don’t have reference handy at this time) (gist)

    “I’m the one who suggested reducing the operating budget”.

    Pardon the language….but WTF? Events are becoming so bizarre that the signed words of Ms Broeze are the most believable and informed that we’re getting at this time. And I thank her for adding credence to Steve’s.

    It’s time to supply that quote of Verster, because with the nebulous nature of the Facebook quote that Steve states is “now taken down”, the case must rest on other tangibles.

    Here’s the quote:

    Chris Herhalt, CTV News Toronto
    Published Thursday, June 27, 2019 9:37PM EDT

    Metrolinx CEO Phil Verster says he told the province to lower his agency’s annual subsidy $149 million next year, saying he can fill the gap by growing ridership, but also by cancelling select bus routes, and getting tougher on fare dodgers.

    The reduction, first revealed by transit blogger Steve Munro, shows that the provincial transfer Metrolinx will receive in 2020 will fall by 32 per cent this year.

    Between 2015 and 2018 under the Wynne Liberals, Metrolinx says its subsidy increased by 20 per cent each year.

    “We approached the Ministry of Transportation and said ‘we can do more with less’,” Verster told CP24 Thursday. “About 18 months ago we made the distinct decision to run Metrolinx as a business. That’s what every taxpayer expects of us.”

    He said the agency, which oversees GO Transit, the Presto fare card the UP Express train and construction of major transit infrastructure, increased rail service by 23 per cent over the past year, and will continue to do so in a bid to attract riders.

    “We’ve reduced our base fare which affects every rider on our network, we’ve reduced our fares for kids who travel free and we have increased our services.”

    Ridership grew by 5.3 per cent between 2017 and 2018, to 76.2 million trips.

    Verster told an audience in York Region earlier this week he’d like to see ridership hit 82 million trips by 2020.

    NDP Transit critic Jessica Bell (University-Rosedale) says she finds the idea that Metrolinx asked for less public support hard to believe.

    “I would find it exceptionally hard to believe that the Ford government did not tell Metrolinx to cut their budget.”

    Doing more with less also means some bus routes that Verster said are under-used will be cancelled.

    Source: CTV News

    I leave it to Steve to edit by adding more or less as is most apt for this string. Again, I have to repeat the acronym expletive:

    WTF?

    Can anyone offer an example of a transit CEO in any other jurisdiction in the world asking for a reduction of their operating budget? Was there a positive ulterior motive? Perhaps, but there’s absolutely no indication of such unless a virus or aliens were controlling his brain. Yes it’s that bizarre. What else does Verster do on cue?

    Do the GO bus routes need rationalization? Absolutely. But that doesn’t mean cutting off the legs because the toes aren’t coordinating.

    Verster burst onto the scene with very rational and bold ideas, as interviews with various publications clearly show. He had a European transit sensitivity and background, and freely articulated it.

    What we see now is not the same man. The QP virus is spreading.

    Steve: Verster is clearly dancing to Ford’s tune rather then defending his transit system. Imagine what happens if Metrolinx gets its hands on the TTC.

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  24. There’s much more coming down the pike. Metrolinx has now co-opted the ONTC rail passenger non-restoration project and they’re squeezing the regions to hand over full authority on all major transit projects. One major subway project is in the process of being taken over, realigned, re-budgeted and locked down in the friendly clutches of Metrolinx.

    In other words, “We’re paying, so buzz off.”

    MTO is also feeling the power of the ever-tightening talons of Metrolinx, too. And it’s all being wrapped up in an insular layer of friendly Brit consultants and new-hires who just happen to be long-time friends of two lords of the line down on Front Street West.

    Stay tuned for further bulletins, especially on the subject of downloading … which is exactly what’s behind the GO bus cuts, whether Queen’s Park cares to admit it or not.

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  25. Sounds to me like another step in the (disastrous) plan for Metrolinx to take over the TTC’s subways, and leave local transit as buses only. Instead of doing their job of integrating services and fares across boundaries, the Ford government, through Metrolinx, is de-integrating GTA transit based solely on mode (surface vs subway/rail) with no regard for how people actually use the transit system now, or will need to use it in the future. The fact that this is being operationalised and championed by people who know nothing about transit planning is merely par for the course.

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  26. Just thought of something else: when the trains are delayed, connecting GO buses are held so that the connection can be made. Even if local transit did replace this service (unlikely), I suspect a delayed train could leave one stranded at a station for quite some time.

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  27. I’m going to go out on a limb and say this is a fabrication before I actually have confirmation. One of the big enabling factors to allow the DBFOM to be build in the next decade is bus bridging. Why would you divest a strategic asset in the middle of a financial year?

    There will be cuts and shifting work locations, but what would be the impetus of this that makes any strategic or commercial sense?

    As for Verster and the cuts, it’s $149M reduction in subsidy, but that’s made up of $61M increase fare revenue, $18M non-fare revenue, $40M transit-orientated development revenue (i.e. asset sales), and only $30M in operational costs. If you know cuts are coming, sometimes making the first move saves you from harsher cuts imposed from the outside.

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  28. RE: Greg Gormick | July 24, 2019 at 10:58 am

    There’s much more coming down the pike. Metrolinx has now co-opted the ONTC rail passenger non-restoration project and they’re squeezing the regions to hand over full authority on all major transit projects.

    Many thanks for this post, I almost replied earlier, but waiting for others to post set the following up perfectly. I must be frank: We disagree on aspects of VIA HFR, but that only makes the ONTC point that much more emphatic. Please add any correction to detail, as I’m posting from memory on this:

    For want of a better phrase, ‘Friends of The Northlander’ hired you to do a study of reintroducing The Northlander, something that Vic Fedeli (former Ont Fin-Min) campaigned on. You should be natural allies, but evidently, something went very sour (Fedeli fires back at Ontario Northland critic – Northern Ontario Business).

    I’ll let yourself and others fill in more detail, as I want to concentrate on this:

    Mapleson | July 24, 2019 at 7:13 pm

    I’m going to go out on a limb and say this is a fabrication before I actually have confirmation. One of the big enabling factors to allow the DBFOM to be build in the next decade is bus bridging. Why would you divest a strategic asset in the middle of a financial year?

    There will be cuts and shifting work locations, but what would be the impetus of this that makes any strategic or commercial sense?

    As for Verster and the cuts, it’s $149M reduction in subsidy, but that’s made up of $61M increase fare revenue, $18M non-fare revenue, $40M transit-orientated development revenue (i.e. asset sales), and only $30M in operational costs. If you know cuts are coming, sometimes making the first move saves you from harsher cuts imposed from the outside.

    Steve: I’m going to jump in here and observe that this list does not include any provision for cost increases due to inflation or service improvements, and that TOD revenue is one-time revenue that cannot be counted on in future years.

    Open to challenge on many points, but let’s examine the *blatant inconsistency* of your stance:

    Ontario Getting People Moving This Summer
    June 17, 2019

    NORTH BAY — Ontario’s government is making it easier for people to enjoy Nipissing this summer.

    Starting June 28, 2019, GO Transit and Ontario Northland will partner for a second year to offer combined train-bus service north from the GTA, to Gravenhurst, Bracebridge, Huntsville and North Bay Friday afternoons, with a return trip on Sunday.

    “GO Transit-Ontario Northland service between Toronto and North Bay is a convenient and affordable way for people to enjoy everything summer has to offer in Nipissing,” said MPP Vic Fedeli.

    Friday afternoons between June 28th and August 30th, people can buy a combined ticket to take the 4:10 p.m. GO train from Union Station to Allandale Waterfront GO Station to meet an Ontario Northland coach that will continue to Gravenhurst, Bracebridge, Huntsville and North Bay. Return bus trips will connect with the GO train leaving Allandale Waterfront GO Station at 4:20 p.m. every Sunday from June 30th to September 1st.

    Tickets will go on sale on Monday, June 17, 2019. To purchase tickets, visit Ontario Northland’s website at http://ontarionorthland.ca/en.

    “Connecting GO Transit and Ontario Northland is a smart use of our province’s existing public transportation network to make taking public transit easier and faster for people,” said Fedeli. “This is another way that our government is making Ontario open for business and supporting local tourism in Nipissing.”

    I think you’d best make your point to MPP Fedeli.

    Steve: Dare I point out that a weekend tourist service is not the same as regular service through the week.

    Mapleson: I’m going to go out on a limb and say this is a fabrication before I actually have confirmation.

    It’s no longer the central pivot of this case. It may or may not be total fabrication, I suspect as S Marshall posted, it’s an “exaggeration”. One poster at Urban Toronto calls the author “a known liar”. It matters not, so much of the case is glaring from so many angles that only the blind can’t see the conflict of reflections.

    Steve: As I have said before, my purpose was go get a confirm or deny response out in the public realm so that we did not have do deal with the credibility of the original post. If the effect is only to put Metrolinx on the record as a point of comparison against what they do in coming months and years, the exercise was worthwhile.

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  29. This is all in the gear up for privatization. Ford either wants to hobble the system so badly he can turn to the people and say ‘look how dysfunctional this system is. Clearly it’s the fault of the public agency running it. Lets privatize the entire thing, only the private sector can run things well. And it just so happens I have some American Friends who want buy it for rock bottom prices on 99 year leases’.

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  30. Even I could, I wouldn’t go into what went on in North Bay with Vic Fedeli, the ONTC and their lackeys at Unifor, the NDP and those fake advocacy groups that form an alphabet soup one northern editor describes as HEE-HAW because one of their acronyms sounds like a braying jackass. That’s private professional business and it’s still not finished.

    There are Metrolinx implications in what occurred and is still occurring on the Northlander non-restoration plan we’re now all funding through our tax dollars.

    The credible advocacy group was All Aboard Northern Ontario, incidentally.

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  31. So MLX is implementing cuts to Milton bus service while announcing construction of a tunnel to increase Milton rail capacity in preparation for two-way all day service.

    Apparently it’s going to take two years to complete the 175m tunnel, which seems like an unambitious timeline.

    I understood the impediment to Milton rail expansion was CPs reluctance to provide increased capacity to MLX. Has an accommodation been agreed with CPR?

    Steve: The tunnel is to improve service on the Kitchener Corridor, not Milton.

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  32. Funny how the private sector is allegedly going to save our cabooses by paying for everything in the GO expansion program, yet projects such as that tunnel under the 401 are being handled through what we’re now supposed to call non-alternative financing.

    In short, we get stuck with billions while Metrolinx attempts to make it look like this is a gift from their buddies in the private sector.

    And what connections do certain folks at Metrolinx have with some of those private sector “partners” and the consulting firms behind their various dream schemes? Just asking.

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  33. I’m just going to put this out there for everyone. *** I AM THE PERSON WHO ORIGINALLY POSTED IT ON FACEBOOK ***.

    The original information came from a trusted individual who works for GO Transit. This individual got it directly from the union about the transfer from bus to rail, along with an advisory to have a “Plan B” for employment, and from this person’s supervisor who listed the projected bus service cuts I mentioned.

    I’m being vague about this person’s identity even to this person’s gender, because once this post went viral, Metrolinx put out a “head hunter’s” directive to find out who leaked it … I’m assuming to impose disciplinary action. This is the kind of leadership at the helm of Metrolinx. The people need to know, and stand up to government! Beware!

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  34. @Elixir: Interesting….but you’re going to have to supply something more to verify your claims, even if in confidence to Steve Munro, or someone in the press who bends over backwards to facilitate exchange of information while ensuring anonymity.

    Steve: My main purpose with this post was to get Metrolinx on the record denying the cuts. Now we see what they actually do, and how much notice/consultation is involved.

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  35. @Stephen Saines – I have, which is why he ran it in the first place. All the source info that was part of the original article on here came from me. I can’t be overly revealing as it could cost the job of the GO Transit employee who told me. Read back in the comments though… posts from several people including Greg Gormick also show the trend towards less bus service. The reduction in funding request also speaks volumes. As of yet, Metrolinx has NOT denied this. Saying it’s “not accurate” is not an outright denial.

    As Steve replied to on an earlier comment: “…my purpose was go get a confirm or deny response out in the public realm so that we did not have do deal with the credibility of the original post. If the effect is only to put Metrolinx on the record as a point of comparison against what they do in coming months and years, the exercise was worthwhile.” The credibility of my source is sound, I have no doubt. The context on how it was presented was informative, not with malice or contempt. Now that this is out in the public, out from behind closed doors where anything could happen and changes could be locked in to a point where they’re irrecoverable, this could save alot of service for the public, and alot of jobs of bus drivers that would otherwise be lost. If these services and jobs ARE saved as a result of making this public, then I consider this worthwhile.

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  36. Nice to see Stephen making demands out here as if he owns this blog. Perhaps we should ask him to identify himself and his affiliations — professional and political — rather than questioning @Elixir.

    The mention of a headhunt at Metrolinx is something with which everyone should be concerned; this is the vicious way they operate in that fiefdom. I saw it in action when I briefly worked for their lamentable chairman back in 2008 and then had them attempt to come after me because of a leak that occurred after I told them to shove their assignment.

    Steve: Some time ago, back when the Metrolinx board contained politicians and actually talked about substantive issues, I flagged a security exposure on their website about which I notified a Board member who was also a friend. For my troubles, I was branded a hacker by their then CEO rather than being thanked for alerting them to the visibility of documents that should have been private. Defensive and always, always “right”. That has always been my impression of Metrolinx.

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